Bud Selig is on his way out as Major League Baseball Commissioner, soon to be replaced by Rob Manfred. Out with the old, in with the new….which leads me to my stance on Pete Rose and why in 2014 he should finally be permitted to be a part of Major League Baseball again.
By now everyone knows Rose broke rules as a manager by betting on games. The problem I have always had, however, has to do with the fact that to date there has never been any evidence that he bet against his own team (implying that he was trying to “throw” games). Assuming Rose only bet on his team to win, I’m not sure I can fully understand how he ever received a lifetime ban from baseball to begin with – after all, he bet on his team to win. Still, rules are rules and since gambling is prohibited I can accept that Rose face consequences for his actions —- just not a lifetime ban, which I have always felt was a terrible overkill and a punishment that never fit the crime.
Putting the gambling incident aside for a moment, Pete Rose was one of the greatest ambassadors that baseball ever had prior to his ban. Not only is he the all-time hits leader, but he’s also one of the hardest nosed, most fierce competitors sports has ever seen (and I’m talking all sports). Head first slides, running over catchers, fistfights on the field — Rose has been apart of all of that and then some. Sadly, and entire generation of young people today have no connection with Rose since his ban, with only old YouTube clips to turn to in order to become familiar with this icon of a player.
Bud Selig dug his heels in with his lifetime ban judgement, and ego seemed to prohibit him from ever wavering on his decision. Sure, Rose eventually admitted that he lied about his gambling (admitting that he did gamble when he originally said he didn’t), but he still maintained he never bet against this own team. By this time the damage was already done, and it was clear this commissioner was not going to waver on Rose’s lifetime ban.
When we think about all the other “crimes” that have been committed in baseball since Rose’s betting — including an entire generation of steroid abusers who have all but obliterated the credibility of baseball record holder numbers — it’s difficult to come up with any rational reason why Rose is still banned from the game. Now with a new commissioner the hope is that one of his first moves, albeit a risky one, will be to properly reinstate Pete Rose into Major League Baseball.
ban, baseball, commissioner, manfred, MLB, pete, psychology, rose, selig, sociology, sport